Friday, January 30, 2015

Cleaning House

Over the past.......oh......12 years, I have acumulated quite a number of bicycles, frames and parts. The hard numbers..........well, during the summer months I scrapped about 40 bicycles. This winter the 3 big city swaps have claimed 4 complete bicycles and 8 frames. In early November I started selling some frames online and have shipped about 14 frames at this writing. Additionally, last night I loaded my van with about 10 bikes and 10 frames and hauled them into Chicago to a co-op bike shop. That totals 86 bikes and frames removed since late summer. In the spirit of full disclosure, I did pick up a handful of bikes and frames along the way.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Zeus Database

An effort to compile resources for Zeus Bicycles.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Little 500?

As the story goes........I was making my usual thrift store rounds about a week ago and came across this picture in a homemade frame.........

...........I'm not sure why but the first thing I thought of when I saw this, was Little 500 in the late 70's.

Can anyone confirm, deny or add any insight to where and when this pic may have been taken?

Monday, March 18, 2013

Almost Spring

Springtime is descending upon us, however, the winter weather refuses to subside. Current employment was expected to last 6-8 weeks and could possibly run for an additional 8-10 weeks. Therefore, work on the Nishiki Cresta has been almost non existant. I did manage to spend some time working on the front wheel. It has several bent spokes which I attempted to straighten. This attempted turned out to be futile. Options at this point would be to either replace the spokes or replace the wheelset with a non touring specific set. I may substitute a suitable set of wheels until I can obtain the proper spokes for a proper rebuild.

Last weekend I decided to play hooky from work and attend the Chicago Bike Swap at the UIC, probably my favorite swap. I previously reserved a couple of sellers tables and as luck would have it my tables backed up to the kind folks from Alewyfe. They are masters of making scented soaps and such. Steve is also a homebrewer, and a fine homebrewer he is. He brought 2 kegs of brew to share with pretty much anyone who wanted some, a very kind gesture I must say. As far as bike parts and the like, table sales were rather slow this year. This was true for myself and reported by several others I spoke with. On the other hand bike corral sales went very well, as I sold 5 of the 6 bikes I took. Two of those were bikes I had there last year.

I presently only have 2 bikes completed and available. So the task at hand would seem to be to prepare several bikes for sale for Maggies resale shop, complete bikes for CL and complete bikes for myself to ride.

A couple of years ago while working down by St. Louis I purchased a Fuji Royale. I have now procured all the parts I need to complete it and am axious do so and finally hit the pavement with it. More on the completion process later.

April 27 and 28 I am planning to head up to Ann Arbor, Michigan for the what I am told is perhaps the biggest and the best swap meet in the states. I will be going as a buyer and am looking forward to this adventure.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Nishiki Cresta GT and other stuff

I've been rebuilding a Nishiki touring bike...........things have been moving along kind of slowly. The bike has basically been stripped down to the frame. I have not removed the headset yet, but everything else has been torn down. The crankset, bottom bracket, freewheel and seatpost have all been cleaned up. The frame has been wiped down pretty well with a greasy rag but I still need to go over it with lighter great for removing all sorts of gunk, sticker residue and the like. Also started on the wheels. The rear has been trued. Front has some bent spokes that need straightening or possibly replaced. Hubs need rebuilding as well.

I would say it's cleaning up pretty well thus far. I have no pictures to prove it though. I ran out of Mudshine cleaner some time ago and have started using Simple Green as a replacement cleaner. I've been using a 10:1 ratio, as thats how it came mixed in the spray bottle they supplied. In the future I may ramp that up to a 1:1 ratio. The 10:1 ratio is no match for the results I was getting with the Mudshine.

I did a swap meet in early December and another in mid January. The Milwaukee Swap in December was kind of small and I did not sell much to speak of. The Madison swap in January was huge and I did much better than at Milwaukee, although not nearly as well as I did at Madison last year. I also spent more. I got there early. I was one of the first vendors in and got set up as quickly as possible, leaving myself about 45 minutes to shop the other vendors before the doors opened to the public. I bought....................a rare Park CCP-1 crank puller, a short 1 1/8 Salsa stem, an early 1970's Brooks B15 in very nice shape, a black Selle San Marco suede saddle also in very nice condition, an NOS 1990's Suntour bottom bracket fairly rare and an Ibis Mojo MTB frame from the late 1990's.

I have returned to full time work after being off for about 8 weeks so bike work will be progressing slowly. I have registered for a swap meet in Chicago on March 9th and I have at least 6 bikes ready to go so that will not be an issue.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Nishiki BackRoads

I'm currently putting the finishing touches on a 1989 Nishiki BackRoads MTB. I was delighted when I found this Nishiki MTB at a Goodwill store a few months ago. All the components moved freely, the overall condition of the frame, paint and components was very good, the wheels were reasonably true.

Sometimes the reality of a good find slaps you in the face when you begin a rebuild. I usually start by confirming that I have a good usable wheelset before I get to engrossed in servicing the rest of a bike. In the case of this Nishiki I ran into some issues with the rear wheel. I was not able to get the lateral trueness to an acceptable level so I shelved the project.

That was a couple of months ago. About a week ago I decided to jump back in head first. I picked up a donor bike hoping I could just swap out the wheelset but that idea did not pan out. Fortunately the donor had a suitable set of replacement rims. I was able to successfully replace the rim on the rear wheel and so the overhauling commenced.

All of the major components have been serviced. Headset, BB and wheel hubs have all been rebuilt. I have also replaced the rear brake cable yoke and of course everything has been thoroughly cleaned.

As I said earlier, I still have a few finishing touches remaining. The rear derailer cable is frayed and needs replacing. I would like to replace the seatpost as well. I am pleased with the results at this point and will likely be taking the Nishiki to the Chicago Bike Winter Swap at the UIC in March.

The biggest issue on my mind at this point and time is which project to start next.